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Sourcing products from China: How to do it right

Written by Spencer Durrant on January 6, 2016 in Strategies & Tips

Finding the best products to sell in your online store is one of the most challenging aspects of building an ecommerce business. What if you can't find the products you're looking for, or they're priced too high for you to make a sustainable profit?

Those are usually the situations that drive online retailers to source products directly from China. There's only one problem - many retailers don't have the necessary knowledge to source products from China in a profitable manner. 

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What SMB owners need to know about mobile showrooming

Written by Spencer Durrant on January 5, 2016 in Strategies & Tips

Mobile showrooming has become a very common practice and challenge for brick-and-mortar retailers and multichannel retailers alike. It's the practice of consumers entering brick-and-mortar stores, researching products they see in-store online, and then either buying the product in-store, going home to buy it online, or buying it right from a mobile device, often from a different retailer who's offering a lower price.

This might seem like a problem for SMB owners, and it can be, but mobile showrooming also offers owners of brick-and-mortar stores a unique opportunity to increase their in-store conversion rates. Let's take a look at a few of the things SMB owners should know about mobile showrooming, and how you can use it to your store's advantage.

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How SMBs can compete in 2016

Written by Spencer Durrant on December 22, 2015 in Strategies & Tips

Our last post was on ecommerce trends and changes that online retailers should expect to see in 2016. But one topic we didn't get to address in that post was exactly how SMBs can compete in the coming year. 

So if you're an SMB owner, pay attention. We've gathered some of the best tips to help your position your store for maximum growth in 2016.

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7 ecommerce trends coming in 2016 and what you need to know

Written by Spencer Durrant on December 18, 2015 in Ecommerce Tools

Ecommerce is an ever-changing industry. New strategies are constantly being implemented, different approaches to customer acquisition and retention are always being developed, and everyone is trying to get a leg-up on each other in a crowded market. 

All of this change is great, because it makes the ecommerce experience that much better. But if you're unprepared for the changes that occur in the industry, you can find yourself playing catchup. That's never a position you want your business to be in. 

So, in order to help you and your store get ahead of the curve, here are 7 trends that are coming for ecommerce in 2016 and what you need to know about them.

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Holiday shipping 101: how to avoid major problems

Written by Spencer Durrant on December 11, 2015 in Strategies & Tips

In 2013, thousands of customers waited in vain for gifts they'd ordered online to arrive in time for Christmas. As many of you remember, a startlingly large number of packages were either not delivered, or delivered after Christmas. In 2014, a similar situation played out. 

While you have no control over parcel delivery companies and their workflow breakdowns, you do have the obligation to do everything you can to avoid any shipping problems on your end. So what do you need to do in order to make sure your customers' packages are delivered on time? Let's find out.

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Outside the box: 5 creative holiday-themed marketing ideas

Written by Spencer Durrant on December 10, 2015 in Strategies & Tips

With the end of the holiday shopping season a mere two weeks away, it's time for retailers to make a final marketing push and try to gather as many new customers as possible. 

The problem is, every retailer is trying to do just that. So how can you separate yourself from the crowd and make your marketing efforts stand out? You have to think outside the box. 

Let's take a look at 5 creative holiday-themed marketing ideas you can implement today to help position your store ahead of others in your niche. 

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Small Business Spotlight: How Fishwest inspires customer loyalty and retention

Written by Spencer Durrant on December 9, 2015 in Small Business Spotlight

The following is the first in the From the Pros series of blog posts - posts where professional retailers are interviewed about various topics, and their insights and expertise are distilled in order to give you the best, most up-to-date actionable advice possible. The retailer interviewed for this post was Fishwest, a fly fishing shop based in Sandy, UT. 

Customer loyalty and retention are two hugely important aspects of running a successful online store. Without either of them, your store won't last long. According to Adobe, 40% of an online store's revenue is created by 8% of its customers. 

So how can you inspire customer loyalty and retention in your own ecommerce store? The pros from Fishwest were kind enough to sit down with us and dish out some tips and expertise on this very subject. 

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How and why to deliver last-minute holiday deals to your customers

Written by Spencer Durrant on December 8, 2015 in Strategies & Tips

With only a few short weeks to go before Christmas, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. Some shoppers are already finished, but many still haven't bought anything yet. For the next few weeks, they'll be scrambling to take care of their Christmas shopping at the last minute, and that presents you, the retailer, with a unique opportunity to increase your sales. 

How? By offering killer last-minute holiday deals directly to your customers. 

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9 questions you need to ask potential dropship suppliers

Written by Spencer Durrant on December 3, 2015 in Strategies & Tips

The success of your online store is dependent on the reliability of your suppliers, especially if you're using dropshipping as a primary means of fulfillment. 

While there are many ways to evaluate potential dropship suppliers, you also need to have a checklist of questions to ask any potential supplier, in order to make sure that they're legitimate. Here are 10 questions you should be asking any potential supplier. 

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Why trade shows are valuable for new online-only retailers

Written by Spencer Durrant on November 24, 2015 in Strategies & Tips

Trade shows are hugely important in the retail world, and owners of brick-and-mortar stores know how much valuable insight can be gained by attending these shows. 

But do trade shows hold the same value for new online-only retailers as they do for those running a physical store, or even experienced online retailers? 

The short answer is yes, but let's take a look at a few specific reasons why trade shows are valuable for new online-only retailers. 

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